Carer stole from disabled woman

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 13:03 31/01/2014

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A Palmerston North woman had a job caring for a severely disabled person, but abused that position to steal from her.

Ruselina Jenerah Hickmott worked for a home care company, and her job was to care for a quadriplegic woman.

She had to get her out of bed, help bathe her and get her to the toilet.

She was in a position of trust with the woman, but on September 27 she abused that position.

Hickmott stole a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

The phone, worth $800, had $60 credit on it.

A friend of the disabled woman began to suspect Hickmott had stolen it and a search of her bag confirmed those suspicions.

Hickmott pleaded guilty in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday to one charge of theft.

The 19-year-old's defence lawyer Tony Thackery said it was out of character for Hickmott, who had no previous criminal convictions.

She had since found another job and was working 60 hours a week, he said.

Judge Gerard Lynch said the offence was serious.

"The carer has an absolute duty to be honest with such a vulnerable person."

He sentenced Hickmott to 40 hours' community work.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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